Climate change is a phenomenon that affects everyone everywhere. The recent extra hot weather during the Summer and the weather’s constant changing from minute to minute has been even worse than it has ever been before, which is concerning. Even the air during morning walks is sometimes hard to breathe. Not to mention all the alarming statistics about the consequences of climate change that arose every day. So, having a web application that educates us about our carbon footprints and greenhouse gases (GHG) is more than needed.

What it does

Simply Green Lenses educates people about the problems that the environment and all living creatures are facing. It calculates an individual's carbon footprints to inform the individual about his contributions to the greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) It also provides solutions to help us reduce GHG.

How we built it

         To build this application, we used HTML, Python, Javascript, and CSS. Our frontend was built using HTML, Javascript, and CSS while the backend was hosted on a Flask server in Python. Google Docs was used to brainstorm ideas and Figma was used to design a template of the system (pages, structure, etc.). To design the actual web application, the Visual Studio Code IDE provided a way to check on our progress and the visibility of the design. 
        The database MongoDB was efficient for storing the users' information and their carbon footprint data (electricity usage, high-carbon activities such as plane flights, etc.). Flask set up a web server that could be connected to the frontend, ensuring that we could access the user login and sign-up information. Firebase definitely helped with the authentication of the users and made sure that they could securely sign up, log in, and log out using their email and a password. 
      Firebase was also helpful for giving users the option to create a new password if they forgot their previous one, and recognizing which user was logged in if any. We were also able to make sure all answers were valid when a user calculated their carbon footprint, and that the user would be notified if invalid inputs were given. Over the course of development, Github was extremely helpful for sharing code with each other as well as ensuring that we had backups of the repository in case something happened to go wrong.

Challenges we ran into

  • Finding the right people to commit to the project until the very end.
  • Finding methods of effective communication between the members.
  • Working with each other despite not knowing each other very well, and having different schedules (work, trips, family occupations) and different time zones.
  • Difficulties with ensuring that all team members were able to successfully view the product at any given point throughout development, and trying to ensure that we all had the correct software and dependencies involved to do so

Accomplishments that we're proud of

Being able to have a personal web application to generate an individual carbon footprint and having a well-designed and functional web application.

What we learned

  • We learned more about implementing user authentication and storing data in NoSQL databases.
  • We learned more about web application development, design, and maintaining a web server.
  • We learned more about how to search on the internet for relevant information, how to find and carefully analyze any documentation for the tools and technologies we used, and how to pay attention to details and errors in documentation.
  • We learned more about patience and perseverance. We were not familiar with all the systems and tools we used, but we kept on pushing forward to get the final result. We developed that mindset by focusing on ways to solve issues and create what we pictured in our minds instead of focusing on whether or not we knew how to solve it.
  • We also learned more about HTML, CSS, and Javascript.

What's next for Simply Green Lenses

Allowing users to compare their carbon footprint to other users of the site, a chat feature allowing users to schedule things such as carpools, and a catalog feature where users can update their activities daily and see a day-to-day report of their carbon emissions. It would be nice to use Lens Studio to build and create Lenses ( back-facing and front-facing cameras)that inspire people to take care of the environment and make them happy to be in a clean and beautiful environment. Simple nature lenses that people of different ages can have on their phones to see what the environment that is taken care of looks like.

Share this project: